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Sabine Schmitz, 'Top Gear' host and race car driver dead at 51

March 17 (UPI) -- Race car driver Sabine Schmitz, who was a host on Top Gear and was known as The Queen of Nürburgring, has died at the age of 51.

The official Twitter account for Top Gear announced Schmitz's death on Wednesday. Schmitz died after battling cancer for over three years.

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CNN confirmed Schmitz's death.

Schmitz became a member of Top Gear's presenting team in 2016 after first appearing on the series in 2004.

She was the first woman to win the Nürburgring 24 hours race that takes place on the famous Nürburgring racecourse in Germany in 1996 and completed the feat again in 1997.

Schmitz also raced for the Porsche motorsport team and worked as a driver on Nürburgring's ring taxi, which allows guests to experience the racecourse as a passenger.

"She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz," Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness said on Twitter.

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"Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans," former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson said on Twitter.

Notable deaths of 2021

Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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